USCCB Chairmen Respond to Administration’s New Guidance Letter on Title IX Application

May 16, 2016 By Public Affairs Office

 USCCB ChairmenRespond to Administration's New Guidance Letter on Title IX Application

WASHINGTON—Two Committee chairmen of the U.S. Conference ofCatholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement in response to guidanceissued May 13 by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department ofEducation entitled "Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students":

The Catholic Church consistently affirmsthe inherent dignity of each and every human person and advocates for thewellbeing of all people, particularly the most vulnerable. Especially at ayoung age and in schools, it is important that our children understand thedepth of God's love for them and their intrinsic worth and beauty. Childrenshould always be and feel safe and secure and know they are loved.

The guidance issued May 13 by theU.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education that treats "astudent's gender identity as the student's sex" is deeply disturbing. Theguidance fails to address a number of important concerns and contradicts abasic understanding of human formation so well expressed by Pope Francis: that"the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created" (AmorisLaetitia [AL], no. 285).

Children, youth, and parents inthese difficult situations deserve compassion, sensitivity, and respect. All ofthese can be expressed without infringing on legitimate concerns about privacyand security on the part of the other young students and parents. The federalregulatory guidance issued on May 13 does not even attempt to achieve thisbalance. Itunfortunately does not respect the ongoing political discussion at the stateand local levels and in Congress, or the broader cultural discussion, about howbest to address these sensitive issues. Rather, the guidance short-circuitsthose discussions entirely.

As Pope Francis has recentlyindicated, "'biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can bedistinguished but not separated'"(AL, no. 56, emphasis added). We pray that the government make room for morejust and compassionate approaches and policies in this sensitive area, in orderto serve the good of all students and parents, as well as the common good. Wewill be studying the guidance further to understand the full extent of itsimplications.

The statement was issued by Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo,chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and ArchbishopGeorge Lucas, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education.

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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, BishopRichard J. Malone, Archbishop George Lucas, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S.Department of Education, transgender, gender identity, Pope Francis, Congress,religious liberty, human life and dignity, Amoris Laetitia

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